Friday, July 20, 2007

Conspiracy Theories 1 - Regular Theories 1,000,000

Ok, that headline is from Futurama - I admit it.

There will be no Roughrider talk here today. It's a crutch that's just too easy to lean on. For CFL football talk see: every other sports-related website in Saskatchewan. And besides, how can you intelligently analyze something that hasn't happened yet - speculate all you want, it doesn't add up to much. Watch the game and draw your own conclusions. Or don't, its up to you. There seems to an attitude around here that some geographic imperative exists that requires you to cheer for the Roughriders or love CFL football. Well no such thing exists, so make up your own mind.


If you haven't already heard a major story is developing in the NBA today. It involves a referee, betting on NBA games, a serious gambling addiction, the FBI, the mafia, influencing the outcome of games, and point shaving. From that little synopsis I'm sure that you can tell this is going to be a big deal. The story can be found here. It has all the details about this story, so I'm going to operate under the assumption that you've read it and not going go over them again.

Depending on how this plays out, it could be potentially devastating to the NBA. Above all else in professional sports, the integrity of the officials must be without question. If a league's officials are found to not be on the up-and-up, then the validity of the league must be called in to question. Or at least the validity of the results of those games that official worked.

What happens if this official in question, who's name is not being released - probably for very good reason, worked this year's NBA Finals or last year's Finals - when there was an extraordinary amount of suspect calls. I think if this official worked even one game in either of those Finals series' then those Championships are tainted. Mark Cuban's head is going to explode if this turns out to be the case.

One of the worst things about this is that it's going to give some satisfaction to people like me. I wouldn't call myself a conspiracy theorist per se but I would say that a lot of the time I think there's more going on in sports than meets the eye. This whole scandal just goes to show that there can be an outside influence on a professional sporting event.

It could potentially be the rallying cry for sports conspiracy theorists for decades - "If an NBA official could influence games, why couldn't __________ happen?"

This is really not what the NBA needed either. After an earlier referee scandal, the debacle with the new basketball and a championship series that nobody watched, the NBA has not been in great shape the last year or so. And this is really not going to help. Shaving points is not quite fixing games but its still a pretty serious black eye for the league.

Between this and the Michael Vick saga, this has turned into quite an interesting week in the world of sport - but unfortunately for none of the right reasons.

A couple other quick things I wanted to mention but not related to anything above:

First, as part of my ongoing crusade against Rod Black as a CFL commentator, I thought I would pass this along. I didn't watch much of the Winnipeg/Montreal game last night but I did happen to catch this beauty from Black. He was comparing Milt Stegall trying to break the CFL's all-time touchdown mark to Roger Maris chasing Babe Ruth's home run record in baseball. Is that right Rod? Do you think Milt is getting many death threats? Is Mike Pringle calling him in the middle of the night and threatening to slash his tires? Is Milt's hair falling out - ok, well Milt doesn't have any hair, but if he did do you think it would be falling out? Let's not delude ourselves into thinking the CFL is any more important than it is. There is absolutely nothing similar about what Stegall is going through and what Maris went through. On some level I hope that Rod Black is calling the Roughrider game tonight - that man is a wealth of material.

Secondly, JK just sent this link to me and it's so good I had to put it in here. It's following in the theme of the Mentos link from this morning.

And thirdly, here's something I should have included in this morning's Links. If you want 45 minutes of intelligent sports discussion - something we don't get much of around here, follow this link and click on the BS Report on the right hand side (it's the one above Jimmy Kimmel). It's Bill Simmons' podcast and his guest this week was Michael Wilbon, best know as the co-host of Pardon the Interruption. If you want to hear what sports discussion can be at its best - listen to this podcast. It'll probably be the best 45 minutes of your week.

If Harry Potter doesn't live to see Monday morning I could be a changed person.

1 comment:

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